With more than 30 years combined experience, the leadership team at the Stratford Volunteer Fire Brigade is prepared for anything.

Dion Howells was appointed the new fire chief and Kevan Old was appointed deputy fire chief in late 2016, after former chief Tony Foley retired from the brigade after 26 years of service.

"Tony gave so much time and effort to the Stratford brigade, and it is a goal for Kevan and I to continue the awesome work that he and the brigade have been doing in the Stratford community," says Dion.

Tony was appointed to the chief position in 2013 after serving 23 years on the brigade and was honoured for his service with a life membership in December of 2016.

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"Stratford is lucky to have such a great brigade, and I have been very lucky to have worked with them over the years," says Tony. He has confidence that the Stratford brigade will continue to keep the community safe.

Dion says being appointed the chief position was always something he aspired to be. After being in the brigade 16 years, he became deputy under Tony.

"To then be appointed as chief by the area selection committee is a great show of confidence."

Kevan, who has been a part of the Stratford brigade for 21 years, says he, Dion and the rest of the leadership team at the Stratford station work well together as a unit.

"It has been great to see so many new members volunteer their time to join the brigade and we have a strong leadership team to help guide them."

The Stratford Volunteer Fire Brigade is currently sitting at its highest membership rate "in a long time" says Dion, with 34 volunteers working out of the Stratford station.

"It is wonderful see so many local men and women who are willing to give their time for the community. Being a part of the local brigade opens up so many wonderful opportunities."

The brigade is always open to new volunteers.